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Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't Go It Alone. Top 8 Reasons My Tri Group ROCKS (and why you should join one.)

The Swim at the Dunedin Triathlon
One day, I went to the beach to go to an open water swimming clinic. I couldn't find where I was supposed to be and instead, I ran into a group of people doing a training swim called the Palm Harbor Tri Warriors. They were walking up from the beach when I asked them if they knew of the clinic, they told me they heard it was canceled.

Darn it. I really needed that clinic.

Little did they know that I had been stalking their message board for a while up until that point but was too afraid to actually join a real triathlon group. I had only done one sprint at that point and obviously still needed a lot of help, since I was headed to a clinic.

But they took me in that day.

It was love at first sight. (For me, anyway).

If it weren't for them, I'd still be flailing around in the water by myself. All alone. If it weren't for their encouragement, I wouldn't have set the lofty goals of a half Iron distance triathlon last summer and a marathon for the winter. Not in a million years.

I realized all of this yesterday at the Dunedin Triathlon where I had the most fun at any race I have ever done in my life. It was located at the beach and causeway where we do all our training so it felt like our home court.
Could it seriously get any more gorgeous than this? This is Honeymoon Island.
Sure there were ups and downs and I didn't go as fast on the run as I wanted, but who cares!? This was fun! I came in 21st out of 44, representing the midpack of America and proud to do it!

The best part of this day though was being a part of my group.
And this wasn't even everyone!
An awesome group of people and the exact reason why you should join a group, do not be afraid, do not go it alone, GO JOIN A GROUP! Oh stop saying you're not sociable, so what?! Oh stop saying you're not good enough, you don't even have to have done a triathlon! I'm serious! These people have lots of information for you and if you're going through it, they been through it, join them! Just go to one meeting! DO IT! Mkay?

These are the top 8 reason my tri group rocks (I could actually go on and on but I'll stop at 8):

1. They're the most welcoming group I've ever met. I.E. the above example. Before I even knew them, they welcomed me in. Who does that? These guys do. Everyone is supportive no matter what level you are at, big, little, tall, short, disability, beginner, elite, anything in between. And I don't care who you are, triathletes in general are welcoming to anyone who wants to know more about the sport and be a part of the sport, because it is a lifestyle! It's an addiction!

2. These guys are like family. And why wouldn't they be? They know all your disgusting stories and they still like you afterward. They've probably seen you at your lowest point and at your highest moment. They've probably seen you after you left your soul on the course and you're reduced to nothing. Puke, tears and unspeakable bodily functions, you've talked about it, they may have even seen it (and vice versa), once that happens, you're family. Also they'll share their bra with you if you happen to forget one on race morning.
They'll kick your butt right up to the end!
3. They WILL.PUSH.YOU. To be better than you thought you were, to do things you never thought you would, and you will become a better person for it because they did.

move it!
Think you can fail with those faces screaming at you? That's right, DIG, TONY, DIG!
4. Your kids will think your triathlon friends are the coolest people in the world. "Mr. Shaker" is my 5 year old's favorite (oh heck, he's everyone's favorite!) He's superfast and he looks like a superhero, why wouldn't he be?! Anyway, when you get home from your race, you'll see this:
Their little bike and car left outside because they wanted to bike (or carride) followed by a run down the block and back.
See? You did that. You will walk in the door after your race to hear those tales and see them drinking their big-boy water bottles all hot and sweaty and it will make your heart sing.

5. You'll get a sign! Who doesn't want a sign? And even when your teammates aren't racing, they come and cheer their warriors on!!!! That's more than a group. It's a team.

6. (My favorite.) They are just as A-D-D as you are. If you're doing a triathlon, there's a good chance you've got some attention deficit disorder because you like to do a million things at once and get bored and distracted by shiny objects easily. But good news! So do all these people! Hurrah! The group will be broken down into two sections: those who write lists and are obsessive compulsive, and those who forget everything.

7. Most importantly: No Tri Warrior left behind! They wait for every single Tri Warrior to cross the finish, especially the newbies and the first timers. Now, imagine doing a race for the first time and crossing the finish line after all those blood sweat and tears shed on the course, all by yourself. Then imagine doing a race for the first time and crossing the finish with an entire group of people screaming your name and cheering you on! With signs! It doesn't matter if you come in dead last, this group will wait for you because you are awesome.


The group is awesome. Better than awesome.
And you should join one.

(Or join mine!)

But if you're not near me, there is awesome near you too somewhere, I promise.

So go find it.


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My Favorite Quotes

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

"I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist." - Jack London

Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong- sometimes it's letting go.

"Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History."- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live life PASSIONATELY, laugh OUT LOUD, love UNCONDITIONALLY. - from my spoon rest.

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." - Ferdinand Foch